While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill - little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. — John Adams

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




A Dancing Girl, and What Was Given Her


You remember that just before Jesus went from Jerusalem to Galilee, as we read in Story Eight of this Part, John the Baptist was put in prison by the king, Herod Antipas. Jesus stayed in Galilee for a year, and nearly all that time John the Baptist was alone in his prison near the Dead Sea. His followers, who were now very few, came to see him, and told him of the works that Jesus was doing. These were wonderful, but they were not what John had expected Jesus to do; and in his prison, with no one to explain what Jesus was saying and doing, John began to doubt a little whether Jesus were the Saviour who had been promised so long. Then, too, John's followers were inclined to feel jealous, because their master was now left alone, and all the people were seeking Jesus. John sent two of his followers to Jesus, to ask him this question, "Are you really the Saviour who is to come, or are we to look for some other as the promised Christ?"

When these men came with this message from John the Baptist they found Jesus in the midst of a great company of suffering people. They saw him making the sick well by his touch, giving sight to the blind, and casting out the evil spirits; and they listened to the words of Jesus as he taught the people.

When his work for the time was done, Jesus turned to the men who had come from John, and said to them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard, how the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is that man who believes in me without doubting."

After these men had gone to bear the words of Jesus to John, Jesus spoke to the people about John the Baptist. He said:

"What was it that you went out into the wilderness to see? Was it a reed shaken by the wind? Was it a man dressed in rich robes? Those who are clad in splendid garments, and sit at feasts, are in the houses of kings. Who was the man whom you went out to see? Was he a prophet of God? I tell you that he was a prophet, and more than a prophet; for he was the one who came to make men ready for the coming of the king. And I say to you, that among those who are born on the earth, there has never arisen a greater man than John the Baptist. Yet he who is the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John; for he can see with his own eyes, what John can only hear of from others, the works of the gospel."

All the common people who heard this were glad, for they believed that John was a prophet, and they had been baptized by him. But the Pharisees and the rulers were not pleased, because they had refused to listen to John the Baptist or to be baptized by him.

Not long after this the end came to the noble life of John the Baptist. A great feast was held on King Herod's birthday, and all the princes and nobles of his kingdom were in the palace, eating and drinking together. While they were making merry, the young daughter of the woman Herodias, who lived with Herod as his wife, came into the supper-room and danced before the guests. Herod was so greatly pleased with her dancing that he said to her, "Ask whatever you please, and I will give it to you."

He swore a solemn oath that he would give her whatever she might ask, even to the half of his kingdom. The girl went to her mother, and said to her, "Tell me, what shall I ask?"

Her mother told her what to ask, and she came back with haste to the king, and said, "I will ask that you give me here upon a plate the head of John the Baptist!"

The king was very sorry that he had made the promise, but he was ashamed to break his word in the presence of his princes. He sent a man to the prison, with orders that the head of John the Baptist should be cut off and brought. It was done; and the young girl took it upon a plate, and gave it to her mother Herodias.

So, as Herod's father, thirty years before, had caused all the little children of Bethlehem to be killed, as we read in Story Three of this Part, this King Herod, the son, caused John the Baptist, one of the best of men and a great prophet, to be put to death.

The followers of John the Baptist went to the prison, and took away his body and buried it; and then they went and told Jesus of all that had been done. After this they were among the followers of Jesus.

Herod the king heard of what Jesus was doing, the sick healed, the blind made to see, and the dead raised to life. Everybody by this time was talking of Jesus and wondering who he was. Some said, "This is the prophet Elijah come again to earth."

Others said, "If he is not Elijah, he is surely one of the prophets of the old time who has come to life."

But Herod said, "I know who this is. It is John the Baptist, whom I killed! He has come back to life, and by him all these great works are wrought!"

And Herod was in great alarm, for he was afraid of the man whom he had slain.

Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, where Herod lived
TIBERIAS, ON THE SEA OF GALILEE, WHERE HEROD LIVED




Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God